Antidepressant response in the elderly
by
Mandelli L, Serretti A, Zanardi R,
Rossini D, De Ronchi D, Tarricone I, Colombo C.
Department of Psychiatry,
University of Bologna,
Bologna, Italy.
Psychiatry Res. 2007 Mar 23;


ABSTRACT

It is often stated that depressive phenomenology and prognosis differ between elderly and younger depressed patients, in the direction of more severe symptoms and a poorer outcome in elderly individuals. However, studies addressing the topic remain largely inconclusive, and it has been suggested that potential biases connected with age may have confounded previous assessments. In this work we evaluated a sample of 93 elderly depressed individuals (>60 years) and 186 younger patients. All patients were assessed with the 21-item Hamilton Depression Rating Scale at intake and prospectively followed for 6weeks during treatment with antidepressants. A number of clinical and demographic features were taken into account to investigate depressive phenomenology and outcome in late-life depression. We found that the high likelihood of medical disorders in elderly patients explained the more severe depressive symptomatology observed in this population. However, independently from physical problems, recovery was slightly slower in elderly compared with younger individuals. Finally, patients who developed their first lifetime episode late in life (>60 years) showed a form of symptomatology similar to that in elderly patients with an earlier onset, but they showed a more positive outcome. In conclusion, the present work suggests that depression in old age is similar to depression in other ages, except for a slightly slower response to pharmacotherapy. Minor health problems increase the severity of depression, but they do not interfere crucially with the efficacy of antidepressant treatment. Finally, late-onset depression is associated with a positive outcome.
TCAs
SSRIs
RIMAs
Options
Bupropion
Amineptine
Reboxetine
Mechanisms
Nefazodone
Mirtazapine
Venlafaxine
5-HT/dopamine
Antidepressants
Tranylcypromine
Atypical depression
Retarded depression
New antidepressants
Depression and dementia
Antidepressants and the elderly

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